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Feb 20, 2018

Mexico’s Gain is Free Zone’s Loss

Business at the Commercial Free Zone continues to be affected by Mexican consumers purchasing goods and services in their homeland, instead of shopping in Belize.  The exclusive business location was established in Corozal in 1994 to attract foreign direct investment.  While it has grown considerably over the past two decades, companies operating within the zone are now downsizing as a result of the economic impact.  The gradual sway of consumption is made worse by the opening of retail chains in neighboring Chetumal, where stores such as Liverpool and Sam’s Club are competing directly with prices for similar items sold at the CFZ.  Merchants complain that as a result they have shuttered a number of outlets, as well as reduced their workforce by as much as fifty percent.  News Five spoke with Minister of Legal Affairs, Hugo Juarez, of the Mexican Embassy.


Hugo Juarez

Hugo Juarez, Minister of Legal Affairs, Mexican Embassy

“Chetumal has been growing and this growth has been accompanied by the growing of local enterprises and national enterprises coming to the zone in order to provide products and services for the Mexicans and actually for Belizeans too.  You know that every weekend hundreds, if not thousands of Belizeans cross the border in order to go to Chetumal or the adjacent areas like Mahahual or even Cancun or Merida in order to enjoy themselves and get products.  We believe at the embassy that that might be a problem for businesses at the free zone, not necessarily Mexicans but in general because the supply that you have in Chetumal is competing with the supply that you have in the free zone.  Then the consumer has to decide where he wants to spend their pesos or their dollars.  Actually it’s true, something that we have seen in the media that the price of the dollar has changed.  In Mexico we don’t have a fixed price for any foreign currency and the dollar is in flotation depending on supply and demand of the public and the Mexican Central Bank takes care of this supply and demand in order to not have distortions in the market.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Mexico’s Gain is Free Zone’s Loss”

  1. concern says:

    The real problem here is that a group of wholesallers in the freezone with good connections with businessmen and the Fiscales (Mexican Customs) boss are running the show. They dont want retail buyers to come in the zone but rather have them request the merchandise in chetumal. This give control to certain mexican importers in coordination with the mexican fiscal boss to run their hustle. The mexican fiscal boss should be interview by Mexicans reporters.

  2. Moretodat says:

    plus in this regard d Belizeans can’t invest in d zone right?so weh u expect d belizeans fu go spend/stretch dem money.ih haad fu mek belizeans go da zone n get cheap items as they wud like dats why lot of belizeans lost their jobs in d CFZ and d same reason for d shops closing.control d liquor inflow but allow d belizean peopme to go ina zone n buy n help d ecenomy grow jz leff d zone to be controlled by d money launderers and greedy CEOs.

  3. Eye in the Sky says:

    Still, the best place in Belize to buy your Methamphetamine Precursors.

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